Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How I bought my BB gun – part 3

How I bought my BB gun part 1
How I bought my BB gun part 2

by Tom Gaylord

I was a good swimmer, but on the first dive, I ran out of air before I felt the bottom. Second dive, too. On the third dive, I tried to see the bottom, but the lake was murky and I saw nothing. On the fifth and final dive, I saw a piece of board that must have been sticking up from the bottom. That gave me some hope that I would be able to reach it eventually. But not this day. I was too tired and cold to continue, so I snuck out of the water, got my clothes and went home.

The rest of my free time that day, I sat in the parlor, practicing holding my breath while watching the second hand of our clock. In the beginning, I couldn't hold it longer than 45 seconds, but after some practice, I was up to a minute and twenty seconds. By the end of the day, I held my breath a minute and thirty-eight seconds, which was more than twice as long as the first time.

For the next several days, I worked on my breath holding until I had cracked two minutes thirty seconds. I learned to take several deep cleansing breaths before trying to hold one, and this really improved my time.

The next time I went to the lake in the morning, I was much better prepared. I had cooking grease to rub on my arms and legs to make the cold less chilling, and I was able to stay down a reasonable length of time. This time, I reached the bottom of the lake, which was between twelve and fifteen feet at that spot. It was cold and dark, but I was now where I wanted to be.

The bottom was all clay mud and very slick to the touch. I hated putting my hands on it, until finally I felt a coin. My first coin, and it felt like quarter! I rose quickly to the surface to clean it off, and sure enough, it was a shiny new quarter. I was finally on my way to financial freedom and BB gun ownership.

That day, I found two more quarters and a penny, so the total was seventy-six cents. That was already enough to buy a cheap BB gun, but that wasn't what I was after. I wanted the best, and now that I knew how to find money for free, I would have it!

The next time I went back I didn't find anything except a cheap brass ring someone had lost. I kept it, even though it brought me no closer to my goal. What I needed was a way to go through more of the ooze on the bottom, and to bring whatever I found to the surface to look at it. I thought about that problem all the next day with no great insights, until my mother asked me to go to the store. She needed a dozen eggs, a sack of flour and some butter.

At the store, I watched the clerk scoop the flour out of a big barrel and put it into a small cloth sack that he tied shut. It was the same kind of sack I now carried to put my diving finds in. If only I could scoop the mud up from the bottom the way the clerk scooped out the flour. Then it hit me. Why couldn't I? Why couldn't I do exactly that and spend less time on the bottom, but bring up more stuff?


At 12:12 PM, Blogger TnShooter said...

I love reading your stories.
Please continue to do so.

You are a great writer.


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